The Most Popular ‘Friends’ Episodes!
Since the airing of the first episode in 1994, the NBC sitcom “Friends” has continued to capture the hearts of millions of viewers.
Even now, years after the final episode, fans return to their favorite episodes, reliving the laughter, tears, and life lessons. But which episodes were the most watched of all time? Let’s check the ten most-viewed Friends episodes.
“The One After the Super Bowl” (Season 2, Episodes 12 and 13)
It seems that season two of Friends is the most beloved among viewers. Topping the list is “The One After the Super Bowl,” a two-part episode that aired in 1996 and was watched by 52.9 million people.
This action-packed episode features Chandler getting together with Julia Roberts, Joey being stalked by Brooke Shields, and Monica and Rachel fighting over Jean Claude Van Damme.
“The Last One” (Season 10, Episodes 17 and 18)
Next up is the emotional series finale, “The Last One.” With 52.46 million viewers, this episode sees Rachel getting off the plane and Monica and Chandler becoming parents.
The final scene, where the gang goes for their last cup of coffee together, is a poignant moment that still brings a tear to many viewers’ eyes.
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“The One Where Rachel Has a Baby” (Season 8, Episodes 23 and 24)
In season eight’s finale, Rachel gives birth to baby Emma, an event that 35 million people tuned in to watch. The hospital comedy features a special guest appearance from Janice, making this episode even more memorable.
“The One Where No One Proposes” (Season 9, Episode 1)
With 34.01 million viewers, the first episode of season nine is another fan favorite. This episode follows the fallout from the season eight finale, as Joey admits to Rachel that he didn’t really propose to her at the hospital, despite his feelings for her.
“The One with the Prom Video” (Season 2, Episode 14)
In “The One with the Prom Video,” watched by 33.6 million people, the group watches a video from the ’80s where Ross tries to save the day when Rachel’s prom date doesn’t show up.
This episode brings us the famous quote from Phoebe, who insists that Ross is Rachel’s lobster.
“The One with the List” (Season 2, Episode 8)
Viewed by 32.9 million fans, “The One with the List” sees Ross making a list of pros and cons to decide between Julie and Rachel. The discovery of the list upsets Rachel, leading to a bump in the road for their relationship.
“The One Where Ross and Rachel…You Know” (Season 2, Episode 15)
This episode, which has Ross and Rachel going on their first date, was watched by 32.9 million viewers. It also introduces us to Tom Selleck’s character Richard, who becomes Monica’s new love interest.
“The One with Russ” (Season 2, Episode 10)
With 32.2 million viewers, “The One with Russ” sees Rachel dating a guy named Russ who looks strikingly similar to Ross. Monica also reconnects with Fun Bobby in this episode.
“The One with Ross’ New Girlfriend” (Season 2, Episode 1)
“The One with Ross’ New Girlfriend” brings us back to the cliffhanger from season one. Rachel is ready to confess her feelings to Ross, only to discover he’s reconnected with Julie. This heartbreaking episode was viewed by 32.1 million fans.
“The One After ‘I Do’” (Season 8, Episode 1)
Finally, “The One After ‘I Do’” kicks off season eight with a bang as Rachel announces her pregnancy. This episode, viewed by 31.7 million people, ends with fans eagerly awaiting the reveal of the father of Rachel’s baby.
Friends: The Reunion
As a treat to the fans, a special reunion episode titled “Friends: The Reunion” was released on HBO Max in May 2021. The special was not a continuation of the series but rather a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
The original cast, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer, returned to the iconic set, shared behind-the-scenes footage, and revisited some of the series’ best moments.
The special didn’t only warm the hearts of the long-time Friends fanatics but also drew in new audience. According to TVision, a TV analytics provider, the reunion was watched by an estimated 29% of U.S. streaming households on its release day, May 27.
It was noted that a substantial portion of its audience were people between the ages of 35 and 54 (50%) and females (55.4%).
Not only did it entertain millions of viewers, but “Friends: The Reunion” also significantly boosted HBO Max subscriptions. According to Antenna, an analytics firm, the special drove more subscriptions to HBO Max in its opening weekend in the U.S. than any of Warner Bros.’ new movies in 2021.
Across the pond, in the United Kingdom, the special aired on Sky One and broke records, becoming the channel’s most-watched program ever. A whopping 5.3 million viewers tuned in to celebrate and reminisce the iconic show.